As job losses mount, the search for replacement employment becomes increasingly competitive. Finding a way to stand out from other candidates for the position that you covet just gets harder as the number of job-seekers grows. "How-to" articles abound, but I leave it to you, good reader, to decide how useful many of those articles are.
Sometimes, however, you find golden nuggets in unexpected places. Outside Magazine, which is devoted to fresh air, exercise and adventure, has a good "best places to work" article in its May 2009 issue. The focus is on companies that involve the adventure travel industry or promote a healthy lifestyle for employees.
But what really caught my eye was a graphic box entitled "Please Log Off Monster.com." And other online job-search sites. The point? There are more effective ways to spend your job-hunting time than bouncing electrons around the internet. Here's their suggested allocation of your time and effort.
- Case your field: 25%. Translation: research your chosen field. Really research.
- Talk to people: 20%. Always respecting their time. For my money the single most important step.
- Act the part: 20%. Do trade shows. Buy people drinks. Schmooze.
- Research qualifications: 15%. Learn what background the position requires. Do you have life experience that could substitute for the masters degree they say they want?
- Search job listings: 10%. OK, Monster et al. get their due. But only 10%!
- Blow off steam: 10%. Surf, ski, run , etc. It's Outside Magazine , for crying out loud. But there's wisdom happening when they say that "this is where you'll really figure out what to do with your life."
If my Dad were here to give us job-hunting advice, it would look a lot like this. And his advice was usually pretty good.
The May issue is not yet posted on Outside's website, so you'll have to spring for the paper edition or wait until the June issue is published and May gets archived.